1. BABY-LAPSIT – (0 – 2 yr. olds) Setting the stage for future learning through stories.  These stories will told in a very limited time frame, hit and miss, and spontaneous.  As a parent (and your child’s first teacher) you have the privilege of opening the world of story. A good rule of thumb – choose stories that are very short with rhythm and rhyme. It is good to accompany these stories with clapping and loving touches

·         Nursery Rhymes – Mother Goose can be found in the 398.8 section of your library.  Educators have written volumes on the benefits of these verses and language skills.  If the sentiment expressed offends – then change it. Here is a fun site:

·         Fingerplays – There are many books with ideas for fingerplays.  Some libraries have them in 372, 398.2, 793.4 and 796.13. You can present everything from rhymes to very simple folk tales right on the fingers of your hand!

·         Lap puppets – This is great way to keep your child’s attention.  Either have the puppet recite the nursery rhymes, sing your songs, or just talk to your child before you go into your story.   A favorite is Lambchop. I have included my ape puppet, Samantha, to many of my storytimes.

·          Repetitive songs – This includes old favorites like “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat,” “This Old Man…,” and anything that you hear on TV such as (forgive me) – The Barney Song or the song from Blues Clues.

·         Read – Don’t concern yourself too much that your child does not understand the story.  If you are reading one-on-one to your child, they are listening to your voice.  There’s a lot of learning going on that has nothing to do with the comprehension of the story. There are also many interactive one-on-one books like those by Tana Hoban (place words) or Eric Hill (Spot flap books). For an excellent resource, get Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Handbook.

2. PRE-SCHOOL/PARENT (or Teacher) 3 to 5 yr. olds.  Now the child is ready for some stories.  It is important to keep the stories short – 5 minutes with lots of participation and  visuals aids. This age group is presently my expertise.  I worked with this age for 16 years at the Edwardsville Public Library. Many basic concepts can be taught during storytime including colors, body parts, shapes, size, numbers, letters…the list goes on. Visual aids include:

·         Flannel boards.  Many patterns with stories are found in the parent/teacher section with 371 - 372.6 call numbers.  You can even make your own flannel board with a flannel-covered board and an artist’s easel.  You can draw your own pictures, cover them with contact paper, and put a piece of sandpaper on the back to adhere to the board§        

·         Prop stories – Telling the story with: pop-open Easter eggs with little story characters inside, a bag with story pieces, a story apron with pockets filled with story pieces, a story hat with objects from stories attached.



3. PERSONAL STORIES: Also kids love it when you tell them stories that happened to you. They don’t have to be well crafted. The incident must have meant something to you for you to have kept the memory. So, go ahead and share it. Here are some story starters for you to share with your child:

                        References and further reading:

Telling stories is the first step to literacy.  The child is using his imagination as he/she ties together the images as they flow into a story. Some children with attention deficit and learning disabilities are the ones who need storytelling the most. They are able to focus on one activity for 4 or 5 minutes and they aren’t intimidated by squiggly black letters on a page, if they are having trouble reading. For more information on parents and  reading, go to , scroll down and click on “Teacher/Teller.” There are many pages for parents and teachers as “tellers.”